XP Blue Edition: And the Microsoft Crusade Against Fraud

Dennis Faas's picture

Just in case we forgot Microsoft was leading the charge against pirated software, the company recently revealed that it has filed 63 new actions against counterfeiters in twelve different countries around the world.

According to Matt Lundy, Microsoft's senior attorney on its anti-counterfeiting team, the actions have been taken against individuals accused of pirating versions of Microsoft Office, Windows operating system XP, and a number of other products. Much of the counterfeit software was resold at online auction sites, says Lundy.

Those on the wrong end of legal action hail from just about anywhere in the developed and not-so-developed world. Sixteen of the actions have been filed against Americans, twelve each in France and Germany, and another seven in the United Kingdom. Other cases involve our friends in Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, New Zealand, Mexico, and Japan. (Source: echannelline.com)

Lundy acknowledged that as the reach of technology grows, so too do threats to legitimate software companies like Microsoft. In one case, a New Zealand suspect shipped counterfeit goods made in China to users in the United States, via online auction sites. "This demonstrates the global reach that the Internet and online auction spaces can provide pirates," Lundy remarked.

A deep, 'blue' ocean of crooks

Lundy was most determined to warn consumers not to be duped by a supposed "Blue Edition" of Microsoft software. It's a completely fraudulent marketing scheme devised by counterfeiters to make their products seem more legit, and Lundy warns that no one should be fooled.

Counterfeiters try to convince potential buyers that these "Blue Edition" wares are cheaper because each were, supposedly, part of a manufacturer surplus. According to Lundy, the "Blue Edition" is "merely an attempt by pirates to fool unsuspecting consumers into buying this product."

"It's critical for customers to understand that Blue Edition is fictional," he added. (Source: macworld.co.uk)

Given that computers are hot sellers every holiday season, consumers should be careful to make sure programs are legitimate. For those wondering if the software they've purchased or downloaded is legal, Microsoft's "How to Tell" website can help.

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